30/06/2017 11:11 AM IST | Updated 30/06/2017 11:47 AM IST

Abused And Assaulted In Jail, 15 Men Booked For Sedition In MP Recount Their 10-Day Horror

"We are Muslims, but also Indians."

The India Today Group via Getty Images

Getting back to normal life won't be easy for Anees Babu Mansoori, who, along with 14 others, was charged with sedition, in the Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh, for allegedly celebrating Pakistan's victory over India in the Champions Trophy.

"We were called traitors by the jail inmates," Mansoori recounted his horror at the Khandwa prison, where he was held for 10 days. "When we entered the jail, nearly a dozen senior jail inmates slapped each one of us and abused us," the Hindustan Times quoted him saying.

The accused were arrested by MP police on 20 June, soon after India lost to Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy finals, on the claim that some Muslim men have burst crackers to celebrate Pakistan's win.

But sticking to his stand, Mansoori said they did not do anything wrong.

"We are Muslims, but also Indians," he reportedly said, showing bruises on his body caused by the beating in the jail.

According to the same report, another accused, Sarfaraz Khan, said he was treated the worst because his name sounded similar to that of Pakistan's cricket team captain, Sarfraz Ahmed.

"I was beaten up mercilessly by the police. In jail the inmates did the same," the report quoted him as saying.

As the case caught the limelight and several questioned the police action against the men, the authorities dropped the charges a week later, saying "it's difficult to prove the sedition charge."

On accusations of any wrongdoing inside the jail, RRS Parihat, the superintendent of police, said that the matter will be investigated in an unbiased manner.

MP police have also come under the scanner after the complainant, one Subhash Laxman Koli, reportedly said he was forced to sign some papers and that he had not made any such complaint in the first place.

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